Tag: Spurs Heat Game 1


Television ratings dip from last season for Game 1 of NBA Finals


Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Spurs and Heat drew 14.2 million viewers, easily winning the television ratings for the night for ABC.

But that number is off 12 percent from last season when the Heat were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder (that drew 16.2 million), and it is down slightly from the 2011 finals when the Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks (15.2 million).

However, the game’s ratings did beat the six years before that, going back to 2004 and the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

Why the decrease? Well, the Spurs have just never been a big national draw, for one. Also, there may be some fatigue with the Heat — a lot of people tuned in to root against LeBron James and Miami, but that seems to be tempered since they won last year.

Ratings for games generally climb throughout a series. Game 1 of these finals was very entertaining so we may see a big jump.

NBA Finals legacy battle: Spurs try to solidify theirs, Heat try to build one

Tin Duncan 1999

When the NBA Finals tip off Thursday night legacies will be on the line.

The Miami Heat have made no bones about it since the day LeBron James and Chris Bosh said they were joining Dwyane Wade in South Beach — they want to be one of the best teams ever. But they need to hang banners to do that. Not one, not two….

The San Antonio Spurs already have a legacy of winning — four titles between 1999 and 2007. One of the best teams of its generation, led by all-time great power forward Tim Duncan and the fantastic Gregg Popovich. Yet while we give lip service to that idea, the Spurs are overshadowed because they are steady and fundamental — they don’t bring the highlights of Kobe Bryant, the drama of Kevin Garnett and the Celtics. They don’t sell themselves like Lob City. It’s not a show. They get overshadowed. Yet they just win, and you couldn’t ignore a fifth championship in 14 years.

This year’s NBA Finals isn’t just about trying to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy and having a parade. It’s about how each of these teams — and their best players — will be thought of a decade from now and beyond. Winning changes it for both.

Only one franchise has been able to repeat as champions since Michael Jordan retired — Kobe’s Lakers (once with Shaq, once without). If the Heat win a back-to-back titles by knocking off the Spurs then we can start to discuss just how good they were — three straight trips to the finals, two straight rings. (And if they can win a third, then they really reach a new level.)

LeBron will undoubtedly have two finals MVPs if the Heat win, and with that he keeps climbing the tiers up to the all-time greats.

We really should think of the Spurs as already being on those upper tiers. Tim Duncan is regularly mentioned s the greatest power forward ever to play the game. They have four rings

Yet that’s not the common perception of the Spurs — we never mention them with the legends of the game. They are so solid, so reliable, so sound that we take them for granted. We overlook them because they rely on smart passes and not alley-oops made for highlights. Television ratings suggest nobody goes out of their way to watch them, when really basketball fans should savor them. They play a smart, elegant game we will miss someday.

Instead they get ignored. But you couldn’t ignore Duncan’s fifth ring. He has to get talked about with Kobe in the “greatest of his generation” conversation.

That is what this comes down to — the chance to solidify a legacy on one side, the chance to really start building one on the other.

One of these two teams is going to take another big step into the history books in these Finals. However it ends.

PBT Extra: Spurs vs. Heat NBA Finals preview

Tony Parker Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs

And then there were two…

Kay Adams and I talk NBA Finals: Can the Spurs big men cause the same problems to the Heat the Pacers’ bigs did? Are the Spurs rested or Rusty? And can Kawhi Leonard have any real success guarding LeBron James?

To me, the real key to this series is how Tony Parker and the Spurs guards deal with athletic, pressure defense the Heat bring. Can they exploit the trapping defense of the Heat with their ball movement and movement off the ball?

And of course, there is a prediction.